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Tigers 5 Carp 0 (Game 1)

(Koshien Stadium)

Preview: Well, its been an eventful week in Tigers land. First Kanemoto sits out his first game in almost 1,500, and nowI hear that Kanoh is returning to the starting lineup! Good for him- he was player of the season last year, and deserves to be back. As for Aniki, he won’t be playing today either I imagine- he’ll be rested and used as a pinch hitter until the Kouryousen games, when he’ll take on the DH position. Shimoyanagi starts, as Nohmi will be saved for the Giants games. Arai needs to step up as the new Number Four- otherwise there should be a swift decisive replacement of him with Brazell (not that this will happen, but it should).

Team Lineup (in batting order):

1. Murton (C)
2. Sekimoto (2)
3. Toritani (SS)
4. Arai (3)
5. Johjima (Ca)
6. Brazell (1)
7. Sakurai (R)
8. Kanoh (L)
9. Shimoyanagi (P)

Battery: Shimoyanagi -> Tsutsui -> Nishimura -> Kawasaki / Johjima

Analysis: No action in the early stages- although the Carp repeatedly got runners on base with two hits in the first, second and third innings, each. Nonetheless, Shimoyanagi pulled us through. The Tigers bench was less active, only mustering a single hit from Murton in that time. After an uneventful Carp fourth, Arai got a two base hit. This was followed by the Carp walking Brazell (boo), and then a hit from Sakurai.With the bases loaded, Kanoh hit a comeback four run home run to put us 4-0 into the lead! It was a sweet hit, and the perfect way to mark his return to ichi-gun. In the fifth we added another run through Murton’s brilliance. A two base hit got him to second, and he stole to third. Then, when Toritani hit to infield, Murton raced home, and got their just before the ball to make it 5-0. He is a true reincarnation of Akahoshi – plus even better hitting. Truly a brilliant signing. Soon enough the relief took over to protect our lead- Tsutsui, and then Nishimura, and finally, a debute for Kawasaki. In the end, an easy win- good hits from Murton and Sakurai, as well as Kanoh announcing his return in grand style!